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Governance in the Age of the Internet and Free Trade Agreements

by Prasad Krishna last modified Jul 03, 2013 05:04 AM
Sunil Abraham was a speaker at this event organized by Thai Netizen Network on June 8, 2013 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. The Ministry of Information and Communication and the National Science and Technology Development Agency were co-hosts for the event.

Click to read the details of the event published on Internet Society website


In the age of accelerated international trade and the promotion of free flowing cross-border data transactions, countries and regions are working towards forming a commonly agreed modus operandi and protocols. These protocols seek to facilitate the growth of e-trade, ensure a secure data flow(economic transactions) and protection of its data in the network. In the recent, there has been strong attention by consumers and businesses with the growing scope and content of these agreements addressing Intellectual Property (IP). Emerging trend studies show that there is a growing practices to incorporate mutually exclusive arrangements without involving other stakeholders which happens in closed door negotiations i.e. government to government.

For instance, the European’s Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) proposal and the U.S. Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

The bigger concern raised by other stakeholders has been the secrecy of these arrangements and the insufficient protection of consumers and citizens rights in its consideration. So far, the lack of legitimacy and proportionality of legal policy measures has created unintended consequences and collateral damages in far reaching manners whether socially, economically or technologically. Citing practices of filtering technology, deep packet inspection, and Internet cut-off, are introduced by internet service providers to meet legal requirements. Activities in question may vary from country to country, some focus on violations of intellectual property, some on the control of political voices.

Notably, list of concerns have been raised explicitly by UN Special Rapporteur to adhere to the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression were recommended.

This workshop is aim to create discussion on the related topics among stakeholders both in Thailand and in the region of the direct and indirect implications of various developments.

Target: Regulators, consumer rights, human rights activities, Lawyers

Expected Outcomes

  • Understanding the dynamics of free trade agreements (i.e. APEC, TPP, and    ACTA) and its implications on Internet regulations, national sovereignty, and civil rights from various perspectives. (Big picture)
  • Basic understanding of how various policy and technology related measures or solutions (i.e. digital rights management technology and deep-packet inspection) are used to address Intellectual Property (IP) and how it directly impacts freedom of expression and individual privacy.
  • Looking Ahead: The developments and upcoming legislations/regulation challenges in both Thailand and the region i.e. new draft of Computer-related Crime Act, new draft of Copyright Act, and the Personal Data Protection Bill.

Panelists

  • Sunil Abraham, Executive Director, Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore
  • Konstantinos Komaitis, Policy Advisor, Internet Society, Geneva
  • Nakorn Serirak, Policy Advisor, Thai Netizen Network, Bangkok
  • Sawatree Suksri, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Thammasat University, Bangkok
  • Lokman Tsui, Policy Advisor, Google Asia Pacific, Hong Kong

Moderator

  • Mike Hayes, Chair, International MA Program in Human Rights, Mahidol University

Click the PDFs below to download the full details and the presentation:

  1. Governance in the Age of the Internet and Free Trade Agreements
  2. Internet and Open Public Data

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